The new Law Society of Kenya President Nelson Havi has formed an alliance with senior counsels perceived to be close to Deputy President William Ruto with the sole objective of using the LSK to push the DP’s political agenda.
Kenyan News Day understands that, together with controversial Senior Counsels Ahmednasir Abdullahi and Prof Tom Ojienda, Havi has mooted a conspiracy to pursue Ruto’s agenda while at the same time frustrating government officials using courts of law.
The intricate plan was agreed at a recent meeting and will come through litigation and public sponsored cases out to challenge President Uhuru Kenyatta’s executive decisions disguised as public interest litigation.
That Abdullahi, Ojienda and Havi are working together can be seen in their online activities mostly via Twitter where the three continuously tag each other in tweets intended to sway public opinion against the government.
In one of the tweets that suggest a desire to control the Supreme Court, Havi almost lets the cat out of the bag by giving a preferred line up of persons he would like to see applying for Chief Justice position. David Maraga’s tenure is expected to end on 12 January 2021 upon his attainment of 70 years retirement age as stipulated in the Kenyan constitution.
In another tweet, SC Prof Ojienda heartily congratulates SC Abdullahi on his appointment as Chairman of the influential Senior Counsel Committee at the LSK.
The three lawyers have a power plan to capture key institutions of the judiciary such as the Judicial Service Commission, the Supreme and Appeals courts, then use Havi’s capacity as LSK President to mobilize legal and public support and mask Ruto’s political interest in the cases.
According to sources close to the trio, the three had discussed various high profile cases that they consider will constrain the President and give Ruto some political leeway.
The three lawyers form the summit of what is a group of controversial lawyers assembled by the Deputy President for the upcoming legal battles for keeping Uhuru and Ruto on the back foot.
The presumptive head of the lawyers Ahmednasir Abdullahi has made their intentions known.
To begin with, one of the foremost cases involves filing a petition under a certificate of urgency at the High Court to attempt to nullify the deed between the Nairobi County Government and the National Government which transferred key functions to the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS). The idea is to restore Mike Sonko as the substantive Governor of Nairobi, a major source of cash for DP Ruto.
Our source intimated that this particular petition had already been drafted and all that remained was for Abdullahi and Ojienda to tie “loose ends” at the judiciary to ensure success.
The source added that the three lawyers were also working on yet another case to be filed independently seeking to compel the government to make public the accounts related to the COVID-19 disaster fund and to make full disclosure of how donations received so far have been disbursed, including facemasks, test and swabs kits, ventilators and protective clothing donated by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma.
In this particular case, the objective is to expose Uhuru’s teams as corrupt and abusing their powers.
Another high profile case against the national government the Ruto team are considering is that to seek nullification of any radical changes on the structure of the Executive that the President is soon expected to introduce through a parliamentary initiative to avoid the prerequisite referendum.
With unconfirmed reports saying the President is on the threshold of constituting a multi-agency economic recovery team headed by ODM Party Leader Raila Odinga, Ruto’s lawyers are also waiting with bated breath to exploit legal loopholes to challenge its constitutionality.
Along with this is yet another intricate plan to use the courts to strongly oppose recommendations in the Building Bridges for National Unity Advisory Taskforce report calling for the disbandment of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
The DP prefers a statistical quo maintained at IEBC beyond the 2022 general elections where pundits believe he has established networks who will enable him easily manipulate presidential election results.
The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far, these are governance principles adorned by Sun Tzu, the famed Chinese war strategist, and best captures President Uhuru Kenyatta’s cleverly camouflaged demeanour over the past seven years as the Head of State.
Political observers who had predicted that Uhuru Kenyatta would by now be a lame-duck President operating in the shadows of his ambitious deputy, William Ruto, may have been forced to reevaluate their prediction by the recent turn of events.
Never before in Kenya’s Independence history has a Vice President wielded more power than Ruto did during Jubilee Party’s first term in office from 2013 to 2017.
A constant presence by Uhuru’s side during that period, Ruto had a free hand to run ministries and was deeply involved in drawing up Government programmes and even supervising some.
Political commentators, and some senior Government officials, quietly referred to him as the power behind the throne, or even as co-President.
Out of his 10 predecessors, no other Vice President, perhaps with the exception of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, had the moral authority to exercise the kind of unrestrained power as Ruto did.
Jaramogi’s moral authority emanated from the widely documented gesture of turning down the Colonial Government’s offer to become Kenya’s first Prime Minister in favour of Jomo Kenyatta, whom he felt was more deserving. Kenyatta was then in prison.
Ruto’s moral authority came from the fact that he had sacrificed his presidential ambition on 2013 in favour of Uhuru.
Be that as it may, if DP Ruto went on to become a presidential candidate in 2013; how would he have performed?? Would he have beaten Uhuru?? Would he have beaten Raila?? Our considered position is that he would have been number three behind Uhuru and Raila, in that order.
With the new constitutional arrangement, under our messy 2010 Constitution, giving no room for changes to the running mate position, in case of a runoff, Ruto did his calculations well and jumped on Uhuru’s bandwagon as a running mate!
So, this issue of sacrificing his presidential ambition is manifest nonsense. He understood the best way to the Presidency was first becoming Uhuru’s running mate!
In doing so, Ruto and his United Republican Party (URP) went into an equal-partnership with Uhuru’s The National Alliance (TNA) and defeated their main challenger Raila Odinga, who was vying under the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) banner.
The 2013 pre-election partnership agreement between URP and TNA gave Ruto control of half of the Government posts, among them Cabinet secretaries, Principal Secretaries, ambassadors and parastatal chiefs.
In the first term of the Jubilee, the administration is where Ruto’s powers lay. However, many people misjudged these powers to emanate from his office as Deputy President.
The 2010 Constitution made cosmetic changes to the Office of the Deputy President – changing the name from Vice President and making it difficult for the President to fire his principal assistant on a whim.
However, the Deputy President’s constitutional powers remained marginal; meaning the authority that Ruto exercised in Jubilee’s first term was largely delegated to him by his boss, Uhuru.
The personal bond between the “dynamic duo”, as they were referred to by the media, had been strengthened by the criminal charges they both faced at the International Criminal Court (ICC) arising from the 2007/2008 post-election violence.
But even during that time, a number of observers in Uhuru’s inner circle had quietly voiced misgivings about Ruto appearing to overreach himself.
One misgiving they pointed out early was the manner in which Ruto tended to hog the limelight during presidential functions, often speaking inordinately long while enumerating Government projects and policies, and leaving his boss with little to say.
It is possible the President was not too pleased by his deputy’s conduct but decided to play along for purposes of political expediency, mainly his 2017 re-election.
In hindsight, a hint of Uhuru’s displeasure came from Jubilee Party vice-chairman David Murathe, who just before the August 7, 2017 General Election, told a local TV station that Uhuru would be more assertive in his second term.
“I am very sorry for people if Uhuru gets re-elected,” Murathe told KTN, “Because his agenda will be his legacy issues which will be anchored in law, order, discipline and the fight against corruption.”
At the time, many thought the words were directed at Opposition leaders, mainly Raila, who, just like in 2013, was Uhuru’s main challenger in the 2017 election.
Looking at it now, this statement perhaps signalled Uhuru’s intention to take back the powers he had donated to his deputy in his first term.
The President’s first move was to name his new Cabinet alone at State House after what appeared to have been a tussle with his deputy over names of new Cabinet secretaries.
Ruto kept away from the function, unlike in 2013 when the newly-elected leaders, clad in matching white shirts and red ties, named the Cabinet at State House.
The President’s second move was the March 9, 2018 Handshake with Raila, an event that is said to have caught Ruto unawares and which has since bitterly divided the Jubilee Party.
The President then followed with a call that Jubilee leaders should cease premature political campaigns which had been stirred by the Handshake.
His call was largely seen as aimed at Ruto whom the President derided for “tanga tanga” (wandering aimlessly) all over the country.
Either by design or default, this statement seemed to have provided the cue to Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and heads of parastatals to give a wide berth to DP’s countrywide tours in the name of launching Government projects.
When this line was cut off, Ruto converted his “development tours” to church fundraisers which allowed him to travel around the country and sell his agenda, without seeking the blessings of his boss.
At the same time, his lieutenants in Parliament upped their raw criticism of the President and the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) which Uhuru launched with Raila as a follow up to the Handshake.
At the same time, he and his foot soldiers in Parliament openly criticized what they termed as the President’s partisan war on corruption which they claimed was targeting Ruto and his allies.
Consequently, it forced him and his henchmen to take positions on the war on graft that was sometimes not only at variance with Uhuru’s stand, but also public opinion.
The DP even took it upon himself to criticize public institutions involved in the fight against the vice, thus raising questions about his allegiance.
He memorably criticized the Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti, over the amount of money lost in the Arror and Kimwarer dams’ scandal, and arguing that the DCI was being used to settle political scores.
In the impeachment of Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu and the prosecution of Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, Ruto’s associates rushed to their defence and lawyers in their fold even appeared for them in court.
Many saw this as a bold attempt by Ruto and his backers to undermine the President on the war on corruption, a fact that some of the DP’s allies loudly proclaimed in public forums.
With an eye on the 2022 presidential race, in 2016, Ruto engineered the merger of URP, TNA and other smaller parties to the Jubilee Party, despite disquiet from his Kalenjin political base.
The thinking at the time was that it would be easier to sell Ruto’s presidential candidature in Mt. Kenya through a single unified party rather than through Jubilee’s former affiliates.
But given the happenings in the Jubilee Party, this is a decision that the DP must be regretting.
The TNA-URP merger effectively ended the 2013 pre-election pact between Uhuru and Ruto which had given the latter half of the Government where he drew his real power over the first five years. With the merger, the DP had surrendered the strongest leverage he had over the President.
President Kenyatta, who is also the Jubilee Party leader, deployed his emissaries within the party to carry out the recent coup against the DP’s allies in the Senate.
Under the President’s instructions, Jubilee replaced Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen as Majority Leader and his Nakuru counterpart Susan Kihika as Majority Whip. Both are staunch Ruto supporters.
A close reading of history reveals an interesting fact on the only thing Kenya’s 11th and first Vice Presidents share: The manner in which they were cut down to size by the very men they helped to rise to power.
In the three years that Jaramogi served as Mzee Jomo Kenyatta’s principal assistant, their friendship deteriorated so much over differences touching on myriad issues.
Kenyatta responded by whittling down Jaramogi’s influence in Government, the culmination of which was demoting him to Vice President without portfolio, after stripping him of his Home Affairs docket which he handed over to Daniel Arap Moi.
The writing is on the wall, its on a matter of time!
Deputy President William Ruto’s growing dalliance with Uganda, and specifically President Yoweri Museveni, gained fresh impetus with the inauguration of the William Ruto Leadership Institute at the Makerere University.
However, one Makerere academic wondered why the university was allowing the Ruto institute to use a piece of land that had been set aside for former President Kibaki’s Presidential Library.
There are suggestions that regional politics could be at play as the Deputy President strategizes for the presidency, but with an eye on the East African Community.
Political analyst Herman Manyora says the blossoming relationship between the two leaders is as a result of their ambitions converging.
“The whole issue revolves around geopolitics. It would be in the interest of Museveni, in his desire to be the regional kingpin, to have somebody in Kenya who doesn’t seem to challenge that,” said Prof Manyora.
“Ruto is also a politician and understands that developing a close relationship with Museveni is going to counter Raila’s relationship with Magufuli. Those kinds of connections in politics are important,” he added.
President Yoweri Museveni and DP William Ruto are believed to be behind the postponing of the Sh3b Kisumu Port opening. The two leaders are said to have been secretly working against the project which they see as political tool by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga.
Whereas Ruto feels the construction and completion of the Kisumu Port has not only raised Odinga’s stature in government, Museveni feels Raila is using the project to position himself as the next leader of the East African region, if he becomes President in 2022.
“One of Ruto’s biggest asset is Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni who considers Ruto ideal candidate to succeed Uhuru in 2022. Within government, talk is rife that Ruto is using Museveni to scuttle the launch of Sh3billion Kisumu port.
Kisumu port launch has been postponed severally with Museveni being blamed. Transport cabinet secretary James Macharia revealed that the facility was 98 per cent ready” reads a report in one of the local dailies.
“All is set and the port will start handling cargo in the coming days as we seek to reignite the triangular trade between Kisumu, Jinja in Uganda and Tanzania’s Mwanza Port,” said a source from the Kenya Ports Authority in January this year before the ceremony was called off last minute. The cancellation was because President Museveni changed his diary last minute thereby scuttling the plans.
The Head of State had invited President John Maghufuli of Tanzania, DRC’S Felix Tshisekedi, Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, Salva Kiir of South Sudan and Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni.
Uhuru, who was backed heavily by Museveni in the 2013 election, is well liked in Ugandan officialdom. His bromance with Raila has introduced a wrinkle in this fairyland, because Museveni and his entourage have had very uneasy relations with the ODM leader.
Over time, Dr Ruto and President Museveni have gradually been growing closer to each other.
In December 2015, two years after his inauguration, the Deputy President was in Uganda and accompanied President Museveni to a campaign rally in Kapchorwa town in eastern Uganda.
At the rally, he told the crowd that President Museveni “is the best person to continue leading Uganda”.
Dr Ruto’s appearance at the rally irked the Ugandan Opposition, which accused him of meddling in their elections.
“Ruto should be careful. He is hanging around a falling tree, it might fall on him,” Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) leader Kizza Besigye said of Mr Ruto’s activities in Uganda.
South Africa’s Mail & Guardian in September published reports that President Museveni, after realizing the potential of big data in politics, had requested DP Ruto to send to Kampala a team of data specialists in his office to train the Ugandans working for the President.
For the last few days, her name has been on local political headlines after she emerged as yet another casualty of the sweet-turned-sour relationship between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto.
But who exactly is Susan Kihika?
Susan Wakarura Kihika is a Kenyan lawyer and politician, who is the current elected Senator for Nakuru County since 2017.
Before she rose to the upper house, Kihika previously served as the first female elected speaker of the Nakuru County Assembly.
She was born in Nakuru County circa 1974 to Moi-era politician Kihika Kimani and is among the astounding 41 children that her father sired. She was his sixth child with his second wife, Alice.
Susan attended Busara Forest View Academy in Nyahururu and Bishop Gatimu Ngandu Girls High School in Nyeri. She then migrated to the United States sometime in 1992, where she furthered her education.
Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika
She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of North Texas.
In 2006, she graduated with a Juris Doctor degree from the Law School of Southern Methodist University, in Dallas, Texas, and was subsequently admitted to the Texas Bar, after she passed the requisite examinations.
“Dad wanted us to succeed in our education. He followed our performance keenly,” she said in an interview with The Standard.
Following her graduation from law school, she worked in the public service where she later left and established The Kihika Law Firm in Dallas, Texas.
In 2012, after 20 consecutive years in the United States, Susan finally left and returned to her motherland, Kenya.
In 2013, she contested the Bahati Constituency parliamentary seat but lost. She then went on to beat a field of seven opponents, to emerge as the first Assembly Speaker of Nakuru County.
Susan Kihika is the mother of two daughters, Tiffany and Ashley.
In 2018, it was rumoured that Susan had launched divorce proceedings against her husband Kiongozi Sam Mburu due to his “unending party lifestyle and a string of girlfriends”.
The glamour couple has long been known as the political appointment of Deputy President William Ruto in the vast and vote-rich Nakuru County region.
Local tabloids back then reported that the marital crisis had erupted in early July when Mburu was being hunted down by DCI officers to record a statement over illicit sugar imports. The closure of his businesses and bank accounts thereafter reportedly drove Mburu into depression, which in turn made him take to heavy drinking leading to unending wrangles with the Senator.
Mburu’s adulterous lifestyle coupled with heavy drinking reportedly left Senator Kihika mentally and physically broken.
So affected was Susan Kihika that she scaled down her political activities in the Senate that year and was hardly ever seen in DP Ruto’s weekend campaign tours in which she used to be a prominent feature.
The wheeler-dealer who trades out of the Port of Mombasa under the name of Landmark Logistics, and whom the DP has variously used to import and dump large quantities of illicit sugar into the local market, Mburu was at one time forced to go underground when detectives started hunting down importers of tainted sugar.
Later that year, Mburu was arrested by DCI officers over the alleged link to a Sh64 million fraud scam where the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) seized 6 high-end vehicles belonging to the businessman.
Through his company Landmark Freight Services Limited, Mburu was accused of colluding with KRA officials and two other companies (Gendipe Enterprises and Rupai Trading Limited) to conceal imported goods and evade taxes.
A married Mburu and the son of a charcoal seller from the Solai area of Nakuru met Senator Kihika, a single mother of two, during the colourful 2012-2013 Jubilee campaigns when the Senator returned to Kenya from her twenty-year hiatus in the USA.
After the elections which Jubilee controversially won, the friendship between the two blossomed into a full love affair eventually leading to a nasty divorce between Mburu and his first wife Beatrice Wanjiku.
Susan who is at least a decade older than her husband is said to be his third wife.
In 2017, Susan was accused of being hostile to her step-children by Beatrice, who moved to the Chief Magistrate’s Court in Nairobi to dispute her husband’s plea for their children’s custody where she claimed that Susan hates them.
Wanjiku’s affidavit dated April 2016 was in response to Sam Mburu’s application to alter the consent order of custody of children that was issued in 2013.
It explained how the two children go through a hard time when they visit her ex-husband.
Susan was accused of violently swearing and distancing herself from the children.
“The children have complained to me about the applicant’s wife who hates the children, orders them away from her, and violently swears at them that she never wants to see them again. When the stepmother is asked why she behaves that way, she says the children are grumpy,” read the affidavit in part.
Beatrice further told the court that giving Sam custody over their children is subjecting them to the whims and mercies of “an absentee dad, stepmother, mistress, or simply other women”.
Beatrice who left her job to manage their family business claimed that he was engaging in reckless sexual relationships, thereby endangering their lives and had left their matrimonial home, leaving her and the children to fend for themselves.
The late Hon Kimani Kihika
Away from family squabbles, Susan Kihika is said to be a refined reincarnation of her father. Ambitious and a political firebrand, Susan is slowly emerging as an “Iron Lady” of Nakuru County politics.
In a six-page handwritten letter by her late father Kihika Kimani dated October 28, 2002, she is praised as his favourite daughter.
The 46-year-old was given 10 acres and described as a good girl. “This is the girl I love the most. She did me good in America,” read the first page of the letter.
Kihika left behind eight wives and 41 children. The patriarch of the family died in 2004 at the age of 78, leaving behind over 1,000 acres of land for his family in Nakuru and Njoro. He also owned 1,000 acres in Rumuruti, Laikipia.
Nothing in politics happens by accident, including William Ruto watching a “Harambee House” meeting from a window of this “annexe” office.
To assume that William Ruto will become President simply because of his “personality,” “work-ethic” or some imaginary political debt owed to the people of Rift Valley by a block of voters elsewhere, is pedestrian thinking.
The majority of people supporting Deputy President William Ruto are pretending except for a few guys from Rift Valley, a case study of those three young men who burnt newspapers in protest of the DP.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to differentiate real soldiers like Caleb Kositany from fake & imagined supporters like Sylvanus Osoro, Boni Khalwale, Ndindi Nyoro, Alice Wahome etc. in this era when conmanship, deceit, and hypocrisy take centre stage in our politics.
William Ruto’s rise to the deputy presidency was a boardroom deal facilitated by the ‘oil men’, riding on prevailing anti-ICC emotions then. It is the same oligarchs that will deconstruct him into oblivion should political pragmatism demand thus.
However, it will not be a walk in the park for the man from Sugoi as some folks are suggesting. Raila Odinga is more “electrifying” with a near fanatic following around Kenya, yet he never became President.
By the time we get to 2022, the political terrain will be so unfamiliar that it won’t matter much in terms of “who owes who what.” It will be a race for survival of the fittest.
This is the season of ruthless alignments and betrayal galore. Political alliances however rosy are not to be mistaken a wedding, marriage or love affair.
The dalliance between Uhuru and Ruto is fast coming to an end.
Uhuru read the riot act during the formation of his government for his legacy term. It is business unusual.
The shared press conferences in white shirts, folded sleeves and red ties are no more. Time for ruthless backroom dealing. No room for emotions or glittering public relations antics. No room for “my brother, my friend.” It is time for zero emotions, just the pursuit of raw political interests.
However, DP Ruto cooked his goose that laid golden eggs the moment he started campaigning for the 2022 elections while the incumbent had a whole second term stretched before him.
In his rallies he took centre stage and undermining his boss by not following the 48 Laws of Power, and now for him, there is no reverse, he has passed the crescendo. Ruto lifted his political arsenal too early and woke up the King’s inner circle which saw a threatened throne and legacy.
Ruto is a shrewd and ruthless politician with a lot of zeal. My only worry with him is his arrogance and absolute open hunger for the big office.
He should remember that he is working under a President who is powerful and enjoys the backing of some other influential figures.
Nobody should cheat you that Ruto is strong or he has the people behind him; if he is strong enough he should resign and plan his own game like Jaramogi Oginga & Raila Odinga did in the past.
If today, for instance, Raila Odinga supports Dr. Fred Okeng’o Matiang’i for President, trust me there will be no elections as Matiang’i will take an early landslide win and Ruto will be long forgotten and thrown into the political abyss.
Comparing Ruto’s arrogance and open hunger for presidency is United States’ deputy president or Vice president that is the world superpower by an array of sheds, Mike Pence. Pence stands beside his boss, President Trump in daily COVID-19 pandemic briefings.
Remember, Mike Pence was elected together with President Trump but we never hear him contradict his boss.
Here in Kenya, we were once told in a presser it ain’t happening because the two top public servants even in normal circumstances cannot ride in the same vehicle in the interest of the nation.
Well, be it as it may, DP Ruto may need in this time of pandemic to reflect and take stock.
He may just need (post-Corona) to do a total overhaul of his inner circle, mass firings and to some ‘social distancing’ because they are misleading him. He is alone; Cabinet Secretaries aren’t taking his calls and the security agencies are no longer interested in him.
The most difficult President to work with in my opinion is US President Donald Trump. The mass turnover of senior officials in the federal government during his tenure tells it all but look at his deputy Mr Pence; he is calm, loyal and always by his boss without ruling out that he could have ambitions to be President of USA in future, but he doesn’t even talk about it because the office is not vacant and he could easily be one as he has what it takes.
DP Ruto has what it takes but he has to live a day at a time. I pray that he derives lessons from Mike Pence; humility or even Joe Biden who was very loyal to his boss and now earning the fruits of his loyalty; endorsement.
Mark my word; President Uhuru is a team player more than President Trump and former President Obama.
Keenly looking at DP William Ruto’s style of politics, what he says is the exact opposite of what he does in real life. All deputies to the previous Presidents have been humble and submissive to their bosses but this one (Ruto) is arrogant, abusive, proud and a know-it-all-person even to the extent of branding the President’s handlers as “crooks.”
DP Ruto doesn’t learn from the late Daniel Moi’s many years of silence and absolute submissiveness to Mzee Jomo which in effect earned him presidency on a silver platter despite minor opposition from the likes of Kihika Kimani.
Ruto shouldn’t underrate Presidents’ intelligence.
Ruto just dared the system not once but severally in a most severe way. What he keeps forgetting daily is that he is a product of the system.
Of late, Ruto has discredited most Kenyans with their vote and support, for being proud, disloyal to his boss, being in almost every scandal that arises in Kenya, overstepping his mandate, being more of power-thirsty than people-oriented, by starting campaigns as early as 2018 immediately after being sworn in for their second term; this and other shortcomings will deny him the top the seat, and his dream completely reduces itself to a wet dream.
We’re living in some deeply weird, unsettling times. That smug-ass COVID-19 virus has managed to force humanity’s pudgy finger onto the global pause button, bringing most economic and social life to a screeching halt.
Be that as it may, the pandemic can provide for an opportunity to unite Kenyans across ethnic, class, religion, gender and political groupings, since all are being faced by a common enemy.
This is the time to show compassion and true Kenyan spirit of unity in diversity underpinned by the Harambee spirit. There is need to rally the warring communities to immediately hold ceasefire and come together to confront the challenges posed by Covid-19.
There was a glimmer of hope in the war against coronavirus yesterday with Health Cabinet secretary Mutahi Kagwe attributing the low rate of infections to the stringent measures the government has put in place to combat the spread of the pandemic.
Although his briefing yesterday was one filled with hope, he explicitly warned that the government is not about to relax the rules, among them the 7pm to 5am curfew, saying such a move would be disastrous.
CS Ministry of Health Mutahi Kagwe with Government Spokesperson Cyrus Oguna Photo/Courtesy
Kagwe, who was accompanied by his Education counterpart Prof George Magoha and Joe Mucheru (ICT), urged Kenyans to maintain high level of discipline by obeying the directives issued by the government.
Speaking on a day that 11 new cases were reported — bringing the total number to 208 — Kagwe, retracted his earlier statement where he had projected over 10,000 cases by April saying the measures taken were bearing fruit.
“It is very important for us to appreciate the fact that the steps that have been taken by the government have had some impact but I think it is important to appreciate that if we ease off on what we are doing, then we might have a wave like you have never seen…” he said.
“It is not that we want to make people panic but I want to warn that a little success should not be construed to mean a real success,” he said, adding: “Yes, projections were a lot higher than they currently are… certain containment measures have had some effect but we’re not anywhere near the deep waters…”
The fact that the country was making progress in the fight against the disease which has killed over 110,000 people across the globe by yesterday was reinforced by Prof Magoha who expressed confidence that national exams will not be postponed.
“We have scaled up our preparedness in response to contain the disease; we have scaled up our PPEs where we have spent millions of shillings, upwards of Sh140 million.
He also acknowledged that there were genuine concerns on the burial of former Kenya Ports Authority employee James Oyugi in Siaya; but warned that cultural practices and norms may not be practical in some extreme situations.
“The Siaya burial has raised some concerns, we are currently addressing this with the County Government of Siaya.
However, I want to inform the country, that moving forward, there will be challenges.
I want to say in an honest a term as I can, and be brutally honest, that our cultural practices on how we dispose the bodies of our loved ones may not be practical in an extreme situation,” he explained.
“I, therefore, want our people to be mentally prepared and accept that COVID-19 victim bodies shall be disposed in a manner that protects the living from infections and in accordance with Ministry of Health burial protocols,” he added